Nutty Sweet Potato Soup with Harissa and Spinach

Harissa is a smoky North African chili paste made from smoked chiles, olive oil, spices, and sometimes tomatoes. If you make your own at home you can control the amount of spice you add to it. Its a wonderful flavorful sauce and a must try! I have featured a recipe that is fast and easy!

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced (2 cups)
3 Tbs. tomato paste
3 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 Tbs. harissa paste
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick (5 cups)
3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 oz. spinach leaves, thinly sliced (2 packed cups)
Lemon wedges, for garnish


1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, peanut butter, harissa, garlic, turmeric, and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sweet potatoes, broth, and 1 1/2 cups water, and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, 20 to 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.

2. Blend mixture with immersion blender, adding more water if soup is too thick. Bring soup back to a simmer, and stir in spinach leaves. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Information

Per 1 1/4-cup serving: Calories: 139, Protein: 3g, Total fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 16g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 188mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 5g


10-12 dried red chili peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin


Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds. In a food processor combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend. Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste. Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. Will keep for a month in the refrigerator.
Add as much of this sauce as you want to the soup. Although its wonderfully flavorful, it is quite potent so beware! I added very little to the soup while it was cooking so my kids loved it. Serve extra on the side for the added kick!

Until next time....XOXO


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